Lavender

The aroma of real lavender has for a very long time been a favorite of ours. Over the years, we’ve bought soaps, shampoos, teas, honey and dried lavender flowers for cooking. We’ve bought scented sachets and pillows. Maui, Hokkaido, Seattle, Paris, and San Francisco have been sources (now that I catalog them, I see perhaps this is an obsession). We realized recently that we have the opportunity to visit the lavender mother ship of Provence during the blooming season. Our heads filled with visions of purple carpets of flowers (undoubtedly programmed from that Windows wallpaper).

We have collected a few images from a three-day drive through lavender territory in early July.

First, some map orientation:

Provence map MAIN

Provence map DETAIL

 

Mas d’Hermès, Plan-d’Organ

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Our B&B with typical Provence stone farmhouse, lawns, trees and lots of flowers.
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While lavender is our mission, we couldn’t resist stopping at a recommended winery, Domaine de Valdition. Lovely setting of vines, olive trees and green fields.

Le Musée de la Lavande, Coustellet

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By “Musée” (Museum), think elaborate boutique. But they did offer really fascinating information about the difference between real lavender, and a nice but less rich cousin, lavandin; as well as about cultivating, harvesting and processing.

Gordes

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The French government has designated the medieval hilltown of Gordes as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. When we explained to our B&B host our lavender mission, she said just to stop outside the village, take our photos, and continue on our journey; the village is much more attractive from afar than within!

L’Abbaye de Sénanque

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A beautiful Cistercian abbey set in a rural valley. While the abbey dates from the 12th century, the monks have been cultivating lavandin since only the 1960s.

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Ferrassières

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The valley of Ferrassières. Advice to us was to visit this working valley, a bit off the usual tourist route.

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This image shows everything from cultivation to harvesting. The flowers from the thin rows to the left have just been cut off and collected. The green piles to the left of the machinery are fresh cuttings.
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This is a fresh pile of lavender cuttings, ready for collection for the distilling process.
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We stepped up to the fresh cuttings. The powerful lavender aroma surrounded us. Delicious!

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Sault

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The town of Sault and its valley are popular lavender tourist destinations. This is the view from the town.

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Fresh lavender to take home with us.

 

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